Beyond the Veil

MATT COSPER | DURATION: 60 MINUTES

Matt Cosper is founder and artistic director of XOXO, an experimental theater ensemble in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has created eight original works for the stage since 2009, winning Charlotte Magazine’s Best of the Best Award for theater twice. His professional theater credits include acting and directing with the Children's Theatre of Charlotte, the Oregon Children's Theatre, Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Carolina Actors Studio Theatre and Theatre Charlotte. In addition to his work as a theater maker, he is a member of the Goodyear Arts collective, curating exhibitions and artist residencies in Charlotte. Matt is a member of the Network of Ensemble Theatres and the American Association for Theatre and Education. He is also Director of Theatre Arts at Charlotte Latin School, an independent day school. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Performance from Greensboro College.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in theater making, the fractal nature of existence, Zen koans, magical realism and accessing the sublime.  

IN THIS EPISODE

  • Matt explains the term ‘theater maker.’

  • He discusses theater as an art form and the role of the audience in witnessing theater.

  • He describes his original work as a playwright and director.

  • He talks about the presence of clowns and the absurd in his work.

  • Matt discusses inviting people into a liminal space of reality and accessing the sublime.

  • He connects the appeal of theater to the sacredness of the present.

  • He shares what he asks of the audience in theater making.

  • He answers whether he thinks of himself as a shaman.

  • Matt talks about reconciling faith with skepticism in his work.

  • He addresses the fractal nature of existence and eternal return.

  • He responds to whether his work is similar to Zen koans.

  • He answers whether he feels an obligation to entertain.

  • Matt discusses the influence of David Lynch, Magical Realists and the Romantics.

  • He talks about being born in California, his ancestry and his genetic predispositions.

  • He reflects on having a ‘Lucifer complex’ and the guilt he carries.

  • He recalls the biography that led him to read Symbolist poetry.

  • Matt identifies the book that has everything that he can ask for in a work of art.

  • He considers whether his plays are chapters from the same book.

  • He talks about his spiritual teacher and mentor.

  • He reveals the people who haunt his work and what his work is really about.

  • Matt addresses what is beyond the veil.

plus Mark's Personal Word Essay: Powers and Principalities

To Learn More About Matt

Questions

  • What struck you about Matt’s comments?

  • How do you remain present?

  • How do you access the sublime?

  • Who haunts your work?

We invite your posts on our Facebook page.

This episode is sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts, celebrating its 25th year presenting the best in performing arts. 

Further support is provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, one of America’s leading urban public libraries, delivering exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. 

And by the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's resource hub and lead advocate for the regional cultural community, providing Culture for All.

Additional support is provided by the UNC College of Arts + Architecture, celebrating a decade of creative education in the arts and design.